Those of you who have been reading my blog forever know that I had extensive abdominal surgery back in 2012. As a result of that surgery, I no longer have use of the “core” muscles of the abdomen. I have trouble doing just about anything, from putting on my own socks, to picking up things I drop, to getting up out of chair. This disability prevents me from getting much exercise at all. I know I would benefit from some exercises or any kind movement but I just don’t know what sort of things I should be doing.
Then last week I was contacted by 24 Hour Fitness offering me an interview with one of their fitness experts. I had a short interview with Clarissa Walz, a Master Trainer with 24 Hour Fitness. Clarissa says:
My passion and goal is that everyone would experience the empowering and enabling effect of exercise and reap its valuable benefits. Combining a lifelong pursuit of personal health and fitness with formal education has given me the skill and passion to teach fitness to a wide variety of groups and individuals.
I have been training for 8 years at colleges, gyms and therapy clinics. Currently, I am a Fitness Manager for 24 Hour Fitness in Portland, Oregon and I have never been happier. Every day I teach the tremendous benefits of even a small amount of exercise on your long-term happiness, well being and health. My wish is that everyone will unlock their potential to reach their fitness goals.
I explained the nature of my disability to her, and asked her if she could recommend a few exercises I could do while seated. Here are the simple exercises she sent me to do:
Dumbell Shoulder Press
This exercise is key for building shoulder strength for carrying out overhead movements. I recommend using dumbbells so that each arm will be equally and individually worked. Begin seated with dumbbells at shoulder height. Slowly press arms overhead until the weights are fully extended above your shoulders. Palms should be facing away.
Band Pull Apart
This exercise is for your upper back and is extremely beneficial for building your posture muscles. It is completed with a band in the seated position. Begin with band held in front of you at chest height. Slowly pull the band wide, squeezing your shoulder blades together.
Around the World—For upper torso
This exercise is a more advanced movement involving multiple muscles. It is important to include in your program because it will strengthen core and rotator cuff muscles. Start with a plate weight (or similar object of 5-10 lbs.) held in front of you like a steering wheel. Remain seated tall while wrapping the weight in a circular motion around your head and neck. Resist the urge to lean in any way
Leg Extensions—For quadriceps
Sit with both knees bent at a 90 degree angle.Lift one leg a few inches above ground and slowly straighten lower leg until leg is straight out in front of you
Repeat extension without touching foot to the ground. Repeat with other leg
Leg Curls—For hamstrings
Sit with both knees bent at a 90 degree angle.Place a gliding disk under one foot (or a magazine or any object that will slide across carpet or floor). Lightly push foot forward away from you. Once leg is fully extended, dig foot into the group and pull foot back underneath of you.Return foot in front of you lightly
Repeat using other leg.
Hip Abduction—For gluts and outer hip
Begin seated with a circular resistance band wrapped around your lower thigh just above your knees.Keeping your feet planted hip width apart, slowly open your knees apart in a clamshell-like movement. Return knees to hip with control.
About These Exercises
It is important when choosing a set of exercises to have a plan. Your body will respond best when your workouts are programmed and progressive. Without hese two key components you run the risk of hitting a plateau or injury.
The exercises in this article are designed for a client starting a new program looking to build total body strength and endurance. It is important when completing all seated exercises to sit up tall with core muscles engaged and erect posture maintained. The exercises here include the major movements necessary for life: Push, Pull and Rotation. To maximize results safely, perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions for each exercise.
About 24 Hour Fitness
24 Hour Fitness is headquartered in San Ramon, California. A leading health club industry pioneer, serving over 4 million members in more than 400 clubs across the U.S. For more than 30 years, the company has been dedicated to helping members change their lives and reach their individual fitness goals. With convenient club locations, personal training services, popular group exercise classes and a variety of strength, cardio and functional training equipment, 24 Hour Fitness offers fitness solutions for everyone.
- To become a member, individuals must be at least 12 years of age with parental consent (a form is provided).
- Adults 18 years of age and above (in Nebraska, 19 years of age) can become a member without parental consent.
- Family memberships are available. Family and friends can be added to existing memberships at a discounted rate.
- Please call 1-800-224-0240 or visit 24hourfitness.com to find the club nearest you and to explore membership options.
- 24 Hour Fitness partners with programs including SilverSneakers ® and Silver&Fit ® to offer free memberships to Active+ individuals. Medicare Advantage members can check with their medical provider to determine eligibility. Please call 1-800-224-0240 or visit 24hourfitness.com for more information about Active Aging programs.
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